The Surprising Revelation About Failing in HR

by Alan Collins

Three years ago, after a brutal failure with a client, I sought help from my mentor.

Together, we did a total, in-depth evaluation of the failures and successes throughout my 25-year career in HR.

Here are a few things it revealed:

🔶 I’ve interviewed for 24 HR jobs I did NOT get.

🔶 I was passed over 7 times for HR promotions that I thought I was a lock for.

🔶 I’ve gotten performance reviews more horrible than I expected on 6 occasions.

🔶 I’ve hired 4 “high potential” HR people for my team that I later had to fire for poor performance.

🔶 I’ve had 5 senior executives who hated my guts, bad mouth me to my boss & said they couldn’t work with me.

🔶 I’ve facilitated lots of off-site client meetings (too many!) that ended up in the toilet.

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However, here’s the surprising truth and what I learned from these revelations…

🌟 Just about every one of those failures, setbacks, and disappointments later set the stage for my biggest HR career breakthroughs and achievements.

🌟 I just didn’t know it then.

And so I didn’t let this one client failure hold me back.

Even though it was a painful failure at the time, I moved on.

Since then, I’ve thrived with many achievements I’m proud of.

And I’ve grown immensely from having had that ONE regrettable client experience.

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So my advice is…

If YOU’VE failed at anything lately in HR, congratulations! My hat’s off to you.

You’re probably well on your way
toward your next success.

Beyonce, besides being a fantastic performer, is right on the money when she says…

“Never let SUCCESS go to your head
or let FAILURE get to your heart.”

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So for you, as an HR pro, what’s the bottom line on failure?  

#1 — Don’t FEAR it. You have to fail more to succeed more.

#2 — Fear being in the same place now you were last year.

#3 — Fail smart and fast – never fail the same way twice.

#4 — HR success often comes from our toughest moments of failure.

#5 — “You never fail. You either WIN or LEARN.” -Nelson Mandela.

Stay inspired!


Feel free to share your thoughts on this article in the comments below by clicking HERE.

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The above post is a tiny excerpt from my new book STAY INSPIRED IN HR: 21 Positive Reminders To Keep You Motivated, Encouraged, Confident & Committed To Success in Human Resources.  Get more details here.

About the Author: Alan Collins is the Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of a variety of best-selling books for HR professionals and leaders. He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo, where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade, and Tropicana businesses.

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